December 29, 2004


I've had the good fortune to ring in the New Year at the beach for about sixteen of the past twenty years. North Carolina. The Outer Banks. One of my favorite places in the universe.

There are tales to tell of those annual adventures, but I'm not getting into that now. What I am getting into is preparing to depart for this year's annual event. We leave this morning.

Soon after Wendy and I get underway, The Boy will be boarding a train heading in the opposite direction. New York City. The Big Apple! He's off to have adventures of his own.

We, Wendy and I, are not seeking adventure. We are seeking downtime, and the beach in winter is a delightful place for doing nothing or everything or anything in between.

I'm packing a bag full of books, multiple pairs of pajamas, and not much else. Sounds good, doesn't it? Oh yeah baby, it does.

There will be others. Other people, that is. This year, as in other years, Wendy and I will be the token lesbian couple among the people with whom we are traveling. For that matter we will be the only lesbians, period, coupled or not. Perhaps one of our resolutions for the new year should be to make friends with more lesbians. But why? Friends are friends. Does their sexuality matter? Obviously not.

Here's a wish for a Happy New Year, no matter with whom you like to sleep. Y'all behave.

December 28, 2004

Baby, It's Cold Outside

My father, a retired Naval officer who is a marine salvage consultant, is unexpectedly spending the holidays in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. There is a casualty up there, a Malaysian cargo ship which ran aground and broke in two, spilling oil into the ocean. To top off that ugly situation, a Coast Guard helicopter, while attempting to rescue crew from the ship, crashed. Six of the crew members were killed.

The Anchorage Daily News has a large series of photos on their website of the situation. This photo of the remains of the helicopter and this one of the broken ship give a pretty good idea of the desolate geography and harsh weather conditions. And just because my dad is there for his brain rather than his brawn doesn't make those conditions any less miserable. Just less dangerous. I hope.

It is not unusual for my father to be called away at the spur of a moment. Marine casualties don't pay much attention to the calendar and care nothing for holidays or other important family occasions. He does love his work however, including the spontaneous departures to far away places at the drop of a hat.

He is, as we all are, getting older. I would selfishly prefer him to be at his home--warm, safe and dry. Since I have no control over that, I'll send warm wishes his way instead.

Love you, Pop. Be careful out there.

I'm Sleeping With The Champion!

Indeed, it's true.

While she's always been my own personal champion, last night she also became the champion of our fantasy football league.

That's right.
Wendy's team, The Hounds, won the whole shebang.
Whoo hoo!

Take that Tom and Rob and G-Man!
All that trash talking got you nowhere. Mwah.

And there is a pleasing symmetry now that all is said and done: my team is at the very bottom of the league and Wendy's is at the very top!

December 27, 2004

Roads Untraveled?

Am I chickening out?
Chickening out.
Particularly knowing how I embrace change with such reckless abandon and all.

Maybe my mind just hasn't yet found the right place to begin.
That's probably closer to reality.
I'll get there. I'm just taking the long road.

An Early Morning

What the hell was I doing at the office at 7:30 am on the Monday after Christmas?

Why I was reveling in the quiet time! No one else was there and I wasn't even sure if anyone else would be coming in at all. I was fine with that. Fine fine fine fine fine!

I'd have rather been in bed. But circumstances dictated otherwise.

Nothing to complain about anyway. I was treated to a gorgeous sunrise as The Boy chauffeured me up the GW Parkway this morning. Riding in the passenger seat I sipped my coffee and enjoyed the icy vista of the Potomac, a gentle band of pink sky peeking over the horizon growing slowly brighter bit by bit.

There are much worse ways to start the day, after all, and mayhaps not many better.

December 26, 2004

A Side Note

I must share (I must share... it's some odd compulsion I cannot control) it is truly unfortunate when a Redskins fan (me!) shares her life with a Cowboys fan (Wendy!) and the Redskins manage to lose yet again to the hated Cowboys in the last 40 seconds of what was a truly lame game.

Freaking Redskins.
Freaking Cowboys.
And I don't really mean freaking.
I really mean f**king.
Yeah. That's it.
Much better.
Substitute it and say it aloud yourself.
Isn't it much better?

I will be a good sport I will be a good sport I will be a good sport I will be a good sport....

To be fair, I should note that for the other 14 games of the season, Wendy is a Redskins supporter right along side of me. I cannot say the same for myself and the Cowboys. But I'm working on it. Sort of but not really.


Oh yes, The Boy loves our animals.
They are happy to have him home too!

The Boy & Cosine

One big happy family!

Moving Right Along!

So yet another Christmas is filed away in the Good Memory File. All the elements were there: food, fellowship, family, fun, friends. The faces were familiar, traditions observed, rituals maintained, the reason for the season reinforced. Yet it was unlike any previous Christmas in some ways and I doubt a future Christmas will closely resemble the one just past.

Things change after all. Sigh.

I learned something about myself. No, not learned. I was reminded of something about myself. Something of which I was already aware yet I hate to acknowledge: three days of hosting company turns me into a frayed bundle of overexposed nerves. For the past twelve hours I have expended a great deal of energy just keeping myself civil, with great success I may add. I don't think anyone even noticed. I hope they didn't.

It's not that I don't enjoy company. It's just that I need my quiet time. Time when no one is asking anything of me. I'm sure at least some of you know what I mean. Maybe there are others out there like me?

My sister understands. When we were passing the phone around last night, I whispered "SK, I really don't feel like talking." And she started to say "Oh but I want to chat with you!" and then she stopped and said "Oh! Well go hide yourself away. Let me talk to The Boy instead. We'll talk another day, okay?"

I still haven't regained my equilibrium despite our company having departed just after lunch today. You see, we've been busily preparing for the next round of company arriving tomorrow.

I can't stop to think about that right now. You see, I'm relaxing and squeezing in a few hours of quiet time with no one asking anything of me.

Don't I sound relaxed?
Oh yeah baby.

Happy holidays, y'all.
But if you need something, ask someone else, okay?

December 24, 2004

The Night Before Christmas

Not a creature was stirring....

December 23, 2004

Shopping Observation

I saw a mother with five children in tow this afternoon at Target. She was young enough that I could have been her mother. Her nose was pierced. She appeared exhausted, her clothes disheveled, her hair awry. The children were all under the age of eleven. They were flocked around the cart their mother was pushing, some hanging off of it, the littlest riding in it. I stood gawking, squeezing myself to one side of the aisle as they rattled and squawked and yelled and moaned past me. It was a veritable cacophony.

The mother's haggard eyes caught mine. She said, although I had not asked, "Yes, they are all mine." She shuffled on past, nattering at the children to stop making so much noise and settle down or Santa Claus would not be coming to visit them.

Sometimes having a grown up child is the best feeling the world.

The Boy has declared he should be receiving royalties for the pictures of him I occasionally post here on my blog.

Poor deluded fellow.

December 22, 2004

All I Want for Christmas Is....

... a door on our bathroom.

Yes, you read that correctly. I've thought quite a bit about it in the last few days. I can't help but think the visitors who will be arriving day after tomorrow would appreciate it too. Just maybe? Plus I really really really don't want to accidently glimpse my mother sitting on the toilet any more than I want my son to accidently glimpse his mother sitting on the toilet. Bathroom doors go a long way in preventing situations like that. Yet now I am chastising myself as I blog for having the nerve to take time out of our frenetic and harried festive and fun holiday preparations to selfishly write about my desire for a door on our bathroom.

I mean really. There are so many other things I should be doing right now. Such as reviewing the holiday meal plans and inventorying the cupboards to make sure I did not forget anything at the grocery. Prepping some dishes in advance. Baking. Making sure the festive decorations for the table are ready to go. I like feeding people. Truly truly I enjoy it.

Oh! I could be putting up the tree. Which at this point I'm contemplating postponing until next December. Indeed, it's a tempting thought. Maybe I'll just hang a few decorations on our poinsettias. Or I could be wrapping presents and tying them with beautiful bows. My sister always creates the most festive packages. I could go without bows altogether myself. But then I see the gift wrapping she creates and I can't help but try to mimic her artistic flair. Don't think I'll get to that this year.

Or I could be laying in bed watching re-runs of Law and Order and snuggling. Or I'm long overdue for losing myself in a novel. I could be doing that. Or sleeping. Oh yeah, I remember sleeping. It's awesome!

But back to the bathroom. Everything else is done in the bathroom. And oh my goodness, Wendy and I are both aquiver about that. Instead of arm wrestling to see which one of us gets to take the first shower, we've just decided to take the first shower together. It's only fitting. A door would be helpful in that regard also.

Yes, everything is done in the bathroom! Except for the door, that is. But it's not for a lack of effort, no sir indeedy. Therein lies a tale for another day.

PS: My girlfriend rocks.

December 21, 2004


I was watching Cosine sleep yesterday evening.

Which beats the hell out of watching her wander around running into walls and tripping over items on the floor. She paces often, never seemingly able to find a comfortable place to settle down. We try to help her. She enjoys massages. We stroke her and speak in soothing tones. But we're not offering what she needs. Because still she paces. Until she finally settles down. And sleeps. At times I watch her. Like last night.

I was thinking about her brother, Detail, who died this past summer. I was thinking about Detail's obituary. I was thinking about how I began writing his obituary months before he actually died. I was thinking how the process of saying goodbye began with me sitting down to write that obituary. And how the simple act of writing about him somehow made it easier to say goodbye.

I'm overdue to start writing hers, I think.
Cosine's farewell.
Because writing it will help.
I know it for sure.

December 20, 2004


This site had a recent visit from someone who did a Yahoo search. My blog turned up for the following inquiry: "I am a lesbian where would I want to go on the web?"

Interesting coincidence!
I am a lesbian!
And this is where I am on the web!

I like Yahoo too.
Oh wait.
It's YooHoo I like.
Yahoo is fine, but YooHoo is better.

December 19, 2004


WeatherBug tells me it's 16 degrees outside right now.
That's pretty cold.
For here, anyway.

Bundle up, snuggle tight.

Details Details Details

It's all in the details, dontcha know.

You can paint a gorgeous overview filled with wonderful glorious images and set a tableau pleasing enough to satisfy the most contentious individual, but if you neglect the details you are sooooo screwed.

Today is a day for the details.
Dotting the "I"s and crossing the "T"s.
A few of my favorite things.
Because it's all in the details.
And I like the details.

December 18, 2004

Rocket Ship

There is a tiny rocket ship in my palm.

I first noticed it when I was but a wee gal. Back then I was fascinated with it. Nestled in among the swirls and curls and curves of all those tiny lines on the palm of my hand. It's in the lower left quandrant of my right palm. A rocket ship on my left palm just would be inappropriate, don't you think?

I hadn't thought about that rocket ship in my palm for quite a few years. As an adult, there is so much less time to sit around looking at one's palm and admiring whatever one finds there.

But last weekend I was reminded of the existence of my rocket ship. It pleases me for it to still be there. Forgotten but not gone.

A person needs a few constants in their life.
At least, this person does.

December 17, 2004


I'm not sure why I thought things would slow down once The Boy got home. It's the holiday season after all. It seems things never slow down during the holiday season. I feel like I've been racing from one thing to another, doing none of the things I want to be doing for as long as I want to be doing them. Instead I'm doing things that have to be done for much much longer than I want to be doing them.

So much to do. Only a limited amount of time. Wanting to do it all yet knowing it all can't be done.

I was looking forward to this weekend. Getting our tree, wrapping some presents, finalizing the details of who is going sleep where on what, deciding what to feed everyone, grocery shopping and playing in the kitchen, getting our house and ourselves into the spirit by enjoying the rituals of the season. Creature of habit I am, remember?

I don't know what I expected The Boy to be doing during all this. Just being here I guess. Available for me to say things like "*insert his actual name*, can you please help me lift *insert name of something heavy*?" or "*insert his actual name*, it's time to put the lights on the tree!" or "*insert his actual name*, can I make you a sandwich?"

Instead, he had the nerve to take a job for the weekend. A job that will pay him good money. Actually it will pay him and the fellow who drove him home good money. Yet it's money they'll have to earn by working all weekend.

And isn't that just one more joy of parenthood? Being pleased yet disappointed at the same time? You'd think by now I'd have learned to temper my expectations.

So today. I'll re-organize my expectations. Re-order my thought processes. I'll look forward to this weekend for the same reasons, just in a different way.

It's all good.

December 16, 2004

Pocket Update!

So winter finally arrived here in Northern Virginia. It got cold enough to break out my heavy winter coat.

I was tracking my pocket finds in a previous post. So when I donned my gray wool coat this morning, I anxiously and anticipatorily slid my hands into the pockets and .... was terribly disappointed to find only a wadded up silver gum wrapper and a Jolly Rancher candy, watermelon flavor.

What a letdown after last year!

Since ...

... when have mannequins had nipples?
Obviously I need to get out more.

December 14, 2004

The Day of the Day Before

Tonight I did a little holiday baking. The Boy comes home tomorrow and I want to send something home with his suitemate. The one who drops him off at our doorstep, saving either us a trip to North Carolina or The Boy a boring trip on the train. When I think of it that way, The Boy should be the one baking for his chauffeur. But I'm the mother, so I get to do it. That's a good thing.

I had to hunt for my mixer. I had to climb up on the counter and dig through the depths of the upper cabinets that store items only occasionally used. Last year when I did our holiday baking, I had only my hand mixer. My big mixer was in storage. Along with much of the rest of our kitchen. My precious boxes of kitchen paraphernalia had been gathering dust in storage since we'd moved in August. There was no place to put anything in our new kitchen. You see, we had no upper cabinets...

Ah fuck it.

I can't write about baking holiday goodies tonight. And we've fully recovered from not having upper cabinets so that's not good blog fodder either, although at another time it may have been.

Instead, I'd like to thank those of you who pop in and read my blog. Despite "lesbian" being part of the title and despite the obvious fact that I, Suzanne, the author of this blog, am a lesbian. Or maybe you pop in because "lesbian" is part of the title and because of the obvious fact that I, Suzanne, author of this blog, am a lesbian. Or maybe you pop in for a reason completely unrelated to "lesbian" anything. Whatever. I appreciate your comments. I appreciate your repeat visits. Thank you for listing me on your blogroll. Thank you for your acceptance of me as a multi-faceted human being.

Thank you for not seeing "lesbian" and deciding that means something other than "worthwhile human being". And thanks for sticking up for me when someone else does decide that. Even if you are really just sticking up for yourself but it bleeds over to me so in essence you are really sticking up for me and it's all good, yes?

Meanwhile the cakes turned out perfect. My big mixer has a comfy home to spend the off-season. The Boy will be home tomorrow and the holidays are upon us.

There is just no time for small minds, you know what I mean?

Eyebrow Maintenance

This past Saturday afternoon I spent a few hours with Bonnie. Not the visiting dog Bonnie, rather my friend Bonnie.

She had just had her eyebrows waxed. How did I know? Well initially I noticed the area just under her left eyebrow looked a little puffy and pale, a sure sign of recent trauma. I discreetly peeked to see if the right side appeared the same. It did. Then she said "I just had my eyebrows done" as if I needed such confirmation. I obligatorily admired her now perfectly shaped eyebrows. They did look good. I was also reminded it had been too long since I'd tended my own.

My sister, way way back in the day, demonstrated to me the agony of hair removal by waxing. I will never forget the afternoon she waxed her bikini line in my kitchen. Yes, in my kitchen. Sisters share their spaces that way. The vivid memory of her prancing maniacally in a tiny thong, screaming bloody murder as she ripped away the wax and hair leaving pinpoints of blood forming on the surface of her skin---well, that vision has stayed with me for over twenty years. The memory is as fresh today as if it had happened yesterday.

I've never waxed anything. No, no indeed. I saw the prancing, remember? I heard the screams. I will employ other methods to control my body hair, thank you very much.

The Boy, taking after his father, tends to a uni-brow. But, metrosexual that he is, a uni-brow will not do, no way no how. At first he shaved it, but now he plucks. Whatever. I'm glad he keeps them neat. I'm certain, should he ever discover, he would be ever so pleased I mentioned it here.

A good friend, who shall remain nameless to protect the identity of her boy, also has a son who tends to a uni-brow. Her young man, however, doesn't seem to mind. His mother takes him to her salon. They lure him into the back room where they perform the torture waxing. He emerges with a dazed look on his face, his eyes slightly glazed, a faint smile on his lips. A new man! With two eyebrows instead of one.

So last night I evaluated the state of my eyebrows. I contemplated briefly how easy it would be to just shave them off entirely and draw them in with a pencil.

Then I came to my senses and got busy with the tweezers.

b4b.jpgThis month's entries to the Blogging for Books #6: Your Life as Sitcom contest are up, ready and waiting to amuse you. And they will amuse you. Kudos to the contestants!

Once again, thanks to The Zero Boss for running this competition.

December 13, 2004


The visiting dog should not bark and jump around playfully attempting to entice the cat to play.

At least she should not do it at 4:00 in the morning.
Nor 4:30 am.
Nor 5:00 am.
Nor three nights in a row.

The visting dog gets to lay around and sleep all day so she can stay up again tonight and bark at the cat.

Oh the injustice.

December 11, 2004


Did I mention we have a guest this week? Bonnie is staying with us. Not our lesbian friend Bonnie, rather Bonnie the dog that lives in the yard behind us.

Bonnie eats like no dog I've ever before known. Think "scarf" as a verb. She attacks food like she's never eaten before and may never eat again. At times I wonder if she's going to eat the bowl too. I timed her this morning. Her breakfast was devoured in exactly 21.37 seconds. There is no way she chews it.

Cosine and Dudley have a different approach to dining. We put the allotted amount of food in their bowls twice a day and they get around to eating it whenever they get around to eating it. When they do get around to eating it, they chew. That doesn't work with Bonnie the Scarfer in the house. Wendy and I have to supervise the Doggie Dining Hall.

Bonnie goes home the same day The Boy arrives home for the holidays. This is an unplanned coincidence. I would not complain if Bonnie had to stay a bit longer and/or if The Boy came home a bit earlier. Maybe I would if vice equaled verse.

Found and Lost

A couple weeks ago, when Wendy was craving order, she discovered my long-ago-given-up-for-lost-forgot-I-ever-had umbrella sharing a hanger with one of my winter blazers. She informed me where it was. Cool.

Yesterday I woke up and it was one of those gray-raining-misty-going-to-be-that-way-all-day kind of days. I actually remembered that umbrella. And then even remembered to take it with me when I left the house. I was heading downtown. On the subway. Another thing I remembered was to button the hood onto my rain jacket. I was prepared for a misty-rainy-splashy-wet-public-transportation-walking-in-the-city kind of day.

Parked the car, short walk to the station. I used the umbrella. I used my hood too. I like wearing hoods when it's coldish and wet. Hopped the train and took my favorite seat. Ack. Dripping umbrella! I wrapped it up and set it down on the floor of the train between my foot and the exterior wall. I made a mental note to not forget it when I transferred.

Settled in for the ride.
Transferred at L'Enfant Plaza.
Forgot to remember the umbrella at my feet.

Good thing I had my hood.

December 10, 2004

Here Comes BoB!

It's the Best of Blogs Awards 2004!
"The Best of Blogs (BoB) Awards seek to recognize the best personal blogs of the year. We strive to recognize the smaller blogs in categories that other competitions would never think to honor. You want political blogs? Sorry, nothing to see here, move along. You want to vote for the Snarkiest Blog? Best Sex Blog? Best Knitting or Crafting Blog? Now you're talking!"
Hell yeah! Props for the little guys! They've got some interesting categories, even one for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered bloggers. Which they could have called the "anyone but heterosexual bloggers" category. Rolls more easily off the tongue my way, don't you think? It is cool they included such a category though, no matter what they call it.

Head on over and nominate your favorites.

A Trip to the Drug Store

I love shopping at CVS. It's my favorite drug store. Last night I was there buying a few cans of cat food and a 12-pack of beer. And sinus pills. CVS-brand sinus pills kick ass.

CVS uses one of those coupon systems where they scan your card and then dispense coupons with your receipt. In recent months, they have made a concerted effort to step up their customer service. One way the improved customer service manifests is that each customer is thanked by name and informed what coupons they are receiving that day.

Last night the clerk was a teenage male. He scanned my card, rang up my items, double-bagged my 12-pack of cheap beer. As he handed me my receipt he said "Thank you, Mrs. Last-Name-Mangled-Beyond-Recognition" and "You have a coupon for...." He stopped speaking, visibly paled, and blurted "Two dollars off! Your coupon is for two dollars off!"

Okay great. Two dollars off is good. But two dollars off what? He hadn't read what item the coupon was for, only the amount. I thanked him and took the receipt. (I keep all of my receipts. I enter them into the computer. I like keeping track of things. No, no. I love keeping track of things.) Before I tucked it into the pocket of my purse with the other receipts, I read that the coupon was indeed for two dollars off. Two dollars off my next purchase of Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons, 40 count.

That poor boy.

I recalled a trip to that same CVS when I actually was there to purchase tampons. This was back in the day when The Boy was in high school. Wendy and I volunteered many hours at the school and consequently we knew a bunch of the students. This particular day, one of the students I knew was the cashier. Oh goodie. I tried not to feel awkward, but didn't completely succeed. There's just something inherently uncomfortable about a friend of your teenage son handling your box of tampons, you know? The student merely smiled and said "Hello Mrs. Last-Name-Pronounced-Perfectly", rang up and bagged my tampons, chatting pleasantly the whole time.

A model of composure indeed.

December 8, 2004

Old News

Yet the hypocrisy is as fresh as ever.

The proclaimed slogan of The United Methodist Church is "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors."

As a lesbian, I am welcome to be a member. I am welcome to fully participate in their religious rituals (with, of course, the exception of committing to the partner of my choice). I am welcome to tithe and donate my time in support of their organization. Yet here is another exception: As a spiritual leader? Well, hell no. She's got to go!

I am so fucking sick of double standards cloaked in acceptance and tolerance. Is it just me? Open doors, my ass.

December 7, 2004

Turn and Face the Strange...

While I had some time to myself this morning, I caught up on all the blogs on my blogroll. Check them out folks, there are some interesting thoughts and fabulous people out there.

I was amazed by the number of things that were different. It is interesting to observe that some folks are constantly changing the layout of their blogs. Mel even changed her title.

I've vaguely contemplated changing my layout from time to time. But either from sheer laziness or being uninspired or actually liking my current layout, I've changed nothing. And my title, well, it will stay the same. Change, as you may know, I consider evil. Most of the time.

I did change something. Just one little thing.

I've got my eye on you now. My left eye, to be specific. Although my right eye could have worked too. I hope it doesn't feel left out.

Peaches are still my favorite fruit.
Nothing quite like juice running down one's chin, hmm?

* Title swiped from a David Bowie song.
You know the one.
Sing along?

December 6, 2004

Who Knew?

elswhere has just come out.
Who knew?
If I'd have known she needed one,
I'd have offered her one of mine.
Although she may not have realized I even had one to offer.

So now I'll come out.
Does anyone in the universe besides elswhere need a gmail invite?
Drop me a note and I'll send you one.

Peace out.
And such.
I feel icky.
Like sickly.
And it is pissing me off.

Who has time for this?


Cosine has been moving slower and slower of late. She's a old girl, yes. It's really starting to show. It seems the only place she seems comfortable anymore is on our bed. When she's up there she really sleeps.

Sleeps deeply.
Sleeps heavily.

I remember Detail near the end of his road. I remember hoisting him up on the bed so he could take a nap in a comfortable place. He seemed to sink more deeply into the mattress than before. He weighed less. But he was sinking.

And that is how Cosi sleeps these days. Like she is sinking.

December 5, 2004

Ancient History

Today is the birthday of someone I used to know.

We met when his family moved into the house next door to my family. He was around five years old I think, which made me about seven. Our families stayed neighbors while we grew up. We played together in our youth, weren't always close friends over the years, yet did maintain acquaintance. After achieving adulthood we both settled down in the same town where we were raised. We had friends in common and soon found ourselves with a renewed friendship of our own.

He married a woman I knew from high school. She and I became fast friends.

And what a friend she was. She was my rock during a very difficult time in my life. During a time when friends were few and far between. When friends I thought I had suddenly no longer were friends. Either by them shying away because they did not want to deal with the wreck that was my life, or because I could not deal with sharing the pain of the wreck that was my life. Divorce has that effect. It mangles families, it mangles friendships.

But this post isn't about her. It's about him. Since it's his birthday and all.

Our friendship was mangled when he divorced his wife. Friends get split up like household furnishings and automobiles. When he pulled away from our friendship, I was not surprised. I had done the same thing to friends when I got divorced. It wasn't personal, really. It was more an emotional overload thing. There is only so much one person can handle, you know?

But what I don't know and what I'll never know is if he realized I completely understood why he left her. If he could have looked me in the eye, he would have known. He would have known he was not the only one who had done something horrific to people he loved in pursuit of a more idealistic love. Such a lofty concept, idealistic love.

I wonder what I would say were I to run into him today? Well if it were actually today, I'd say "Happy birthday, Frank." Outside of that, I'm just not sure.

December 3, 2004

For Wendy. Always.

I was just thinking. No, not thinking. Feeling. Which at times is better than thinking. It's certainly different. But it's most fun to feel and think simultaneously. I think.

I have never considered myself a hopeless romantic or anything even close to resembling a romantic at all. Perhaps at times yes. Yet fumblingly so. So I seek safety in words others have written. My own rarely unfumble me.

I'm feeling that. Romantic. Not sex-romantic, but heart-romantic. Which can lead to sex-romantic. Or not. Whatever feels right. Instinctively, I fumble around to grab on to words others have written.

"Baby where's that place where time stands still?
I remember like a lover can,
But I forget it like a leaver will.
It's no place you can get to by yourself.
You've got to love someone and they love you.
Time will stop for nothing else...

It's the first time that you held my hand.
It's the smell and the taste and the fear and the thrill.
It's everything I understand.
And all the things I never will..."

"Where Time Stands Still"
Mary Chapin Carpenter

It's All About Them.

That's how it is supposed to be. At least that's how I see it.

I learned a very important parenting lesson when The Boy young. Actually I learned a hundred thousand million very important parenting lessons when The Boy was young, but there's one I had to learn several times before it stuck. I made the same mistake more than once. Imagine. Well, calling it a mistake is a bit harsh. Let's go with learning curve.

After The Boy arrived I could not wait to share with him all the exciting wonderful fantabulous marvelous cool incredible things the world has to offer. Of course that meant all the things I thought were exciting wonderful fantabulous marvelous cool and incredible. Because surely if I found them worthy, The Boy would also. Books. Food. Toys. Music. Activities. People. Pets. Games. Life. Oh yeah, we were going to be busy!

But there was that lesson I had to learn and then learn again. Pesky lessons.

I once gave him an Erector Set. I recall being so excited about that Erector Set. It wasn't just about the giving of the gift, rather the anticipation of he and I working together to construct things with it. I envisioned hours spent sitting on the floor with pieces and parts spread out around us as we built something cool that moved. No real vision of what we would build, just me sharing with The Boy something I thought was nifty. Sharing me, if you will.

I've never been particularly good at building things and had never touched an Erector Set before. I had Barbies growing up. But The Boy was, well, a boy. And that Erector Set was a cool boy toy. (Yikes, did I really feel that way?) It also had another appeal. Because I love things with lots of parts with lots of different activities that are packaged in efficient storage containers! For those reasons, that Erector Set really appealed to me. I was so certain he would find it as cool as I did.

When we sold that same Erector Set at the garage sale we had before we moved the summer before last, it had been used... oh, maybe three times. The Boy did not share my fascination with attempting to build things with little parts. And he didn't seem to have a real appreciation for my mild obsession with toys that came in efficient storage containers. Okay fine. No big deal. Hrumph.

Yet there were many things about which he and I were equally enthusiastic. One was the library. Man, we'd kill hours at the library. Reading, browsing, sharing. And of course we'd take books home to read. Some together, some individually. (We still share books. I hope we always do.)

Then there was the whole thing with the Matchbox cars. Actually, this probably came first. The Boy, as many children do, had a few Matchbox cars. He was maybe five or six years old. I decided one year for his birthday to get him a box to keep his cars in. Out to the store I went and picked out this suitcase-style container with racks inside. It was black. I fashioned a cover for it using a plastic transparency, construction paper, an old "Hot Rod" magazine, and a magic marker. (No, it wasn't as bad as it sounds. It turned out okay.)

And it's not that he didn't enjoy his Matchbox cars and carrying case. He did. But it did not inspire the same level of enthusiasm in him as it did in me. I mean I was stoked about that carrying case! Yet it was far from him favorite toy. We did, however, spend many hours with those cars, usually at my suggestion. "Hey, let's play with your Matchbox cars!" And he'd agree. We didn't sell that item at the garage sale. We kept it.

So I began to get a clue. When he and his friends got into Magic: The Gathering, well I was right there with them. We got some of my adult friends into it too. Me and my friends would play cards with him and his friends. Good times good times. (Does he remember it that way?)

By then I understood. It was not just about me sharing my interests with him and expecting him to embrace them as I did. It was about him discovering his own interests. He had things to share with me as well.

And he still does.
How cool is that?

December 2, 2004

I Saw the Sign*
(and Some Other Things Too)

Last week I pulled into the parking garage at the Metro station and again saw the sign: Parking $3.75

Three dollars and seventy-five cents!

Damn. If memory serves, less than a year ago it was but $2.25. Yes I was aware the price had gone up. But every time I see that sign I feel irritation. Plus it used to be if you left the garage before 2:30 in the afternoon or after 10:00 at night, you didn't have to pay. Now if the station is open, you have to pay no matter what time you depart.

Another fairly recent change (which I resisted and moaned about only because change is evil! evil I say!) was the requirement to have a SmartCard to pay for parking. A SmartCard resembles a credit card that a rider can put funds on to pay for Metro fares and parking. With the adventent of the SmartCard, no longer would there be an attendant in the booth to take your cash. Parking lot attendants had evidently been stealing (stealing is bad! bad I say!) and therefore were eliminated from the system.

Metro charges $5 for the actual SmartCard itself. After you pay your $5, then you can load additional funds on it to pay for Metro services. Think about that. You must have one to use the parking facilities, yet the only way to get one is to buy it. So parking for a one-time visitor to a Metro station actually costs $8.75. And this is tourist-country, Our Nation's Capital.

Anyway. I have conformed out of necessity and am now a SmartCard owner. As it turned out, an odd series of events and my personal miscalculation resulted in a very late night educational conversation with the Temporary Roving Metro Parking Lot "Yes It Is Well After Midnight But You Must Pay And No You Can't Use Cash And I Can't Really Help You Go Buy A SmartCard" Fellow. That night Wendy purchased the SmartCard that has since become mine.

And oh oh oh! How I adore my SmartCard! I load my SmartCard up with funds right from my debit card. No more dealing with paper farecards and digging for change to pay for parking. It's actually a fantastic convenience. Why did I ever resist?

* anyone else remember Ace of Base and their song of this title? I liked it when it came out and still do.

December 1, 2004

HB Wen!

Today is my wonderful girlfriend's birthday.
Happy birthday, Wendy! Je t'aime bien.

We are going out for dinner. Her choice of restaurant. She's leaning toward Taco Lucas, which is as informal as the name sounds and serves a cross of Mexican and El Salvadorian style food. It's good stuff.

If it wasn't for Taco Lucas, I may never have discovered the joy of pupusas served with spicy shredded cabbage. My life would seem so empty without the occasional pupusa to tantalize my tastebuds.

One thing about Taco Lucas: we invariably eat too much. Because it's good. And the portions are generous.

Another thing which could be deemed unrelated but is actually quite relevant: we have both gained weight since we quit smoking. I'm almost comfortable in my regular clothes. Until I eat something. Any something. Even a small something. Then I feel like a sausage stuffed into a casing three sizes too small.

I wonder if I can convince the Birthday Girl it would be perfectly appropriate to wear our pajama pants out to dinner tonight?